Friday, February 6, 2009

Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing‏?

Organizations like the far left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the ethnocentric National Council of La Raza (NCLR) are wolves in sheeps' clothing. They impugn the motives of the mainstream voices on immigration such as the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)and NumbersUSA merely because they disagree with them. Fortunately, Congress and the media pay attention when CIS or Numbers present factual and authoritative information on immigration issues. Numbers performs a valuable service by facilitating the ability of its members to contact their representatives and senators on bills pending before the Congress.

The SPLC casts too wide a net when it characterizes CIS and Numbers as purveyors of "hate." They are unable to support that allegation with quotes from either organization. The Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA are completely legitimate organizations that probably enjoy wider support and more contributions from ordinary Americans than either the SPLC or the NCLR. By including them in their list of "hate" organizations, the SPLC has lost all credibility. Although the original roots of CIS and Numbers may be suspect, there is nothing in their current positions and publications that any reasonable person would have occasion to disagree with on the grounds that they represent "hate." The term "hate" is bandied about way too loosely. Not everything that happens in this world is due to "hate." The far left SPLC has failed to refute or take issue with, on technical grounds, anything that CIS or Numbers stand for or is included in their publications or websites. If the NCLR or the SPLC believes CIS and Numbers are purveyors of "hate", they will have to do more than simply assert it. There is room here for legitimate disagreements and different points of view but not for unsubstantiated slander. I challenge either or both of the SPLC and the NCLR organizations to show me why the following are untrue or manifestations of "hate".

1. The "limit" of finite natural resources per capita as population increases without bounds is zero. In other words, the more people there are in the U.S. or the world, the less there is of these resources for each of us. The question then becomes: How much farther down that road should we go? I hope the answer for any intelligent person is, no mas.
2. Our population is expected to double by the end of this century. The UN estimates that Americans produce 20 metric tons of pollutants per capita annually. At that rate, 300 million more people will mean another 6 billion tons of pollutants annually. If, by some technological miracle, we were to be able to reduce the per capita output by half over that same time period to the level of Mexico, we would have made absolutely no progress in reducing our total output below the present unacceptable level.
3. Eminent demographer, Joel Cohen, wrote, “I personally am very concerned by the vast inequitable and largely avoidable burdens of hunger, disease, violence, ignorance and poverty borne by too many billions of people. But I will not try to persuade you that the world will end in the next ten years unless everybody changes to a diet of soybeans and contraceptive pills, or that a universal diet of soybeans and contraceptive pills would eliminate hunger, disease, violence, ignorance and poverty…. But I will try to persuade you that the world cannot easily and comfortably accommodate an unlimited number of people at any desirable level of material, mental and civic well-being.”
4. Echoing the sentiments of John Stuart Mill in his classic 1848 work, "Principles of Political Economy" [Book IV, Chapter VI, pp. 756-757], University of Colorado Physics Professor Emeritus wrote , “Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from the microscopic to the global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?”

I believe the above four points are consistent with the positions of CIS and Numbers. The Executive Director of CIS, Mark Krikorian, is himself the son of Armenian immigrants. Most of us are first or second generation citizens. Our parents or grandparents were immigrants. But so much has changed since they arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries that our country would be unrecognizable to them now. Our country is fully settled and developed and we have no need for millions of more immigrants of any ethnicity. We should continue to accept those applicants with great promise and the talent, education, intelligence, inventiveness, and innovative and entrepreneurial skills America will need to compete in the global economy. India, China, and the European Union are all producing more scientists and engineers than we are. This does not bode well for our economy in the long run. We must begin to allow the best and the brightest among foreign PhD students to stay here and enjoy a fast track to citizenship. But this must be done with focused quotas of no more than 200,000 per year exclusive of tourists, students, and temporary migrant workers. I have seen nothing in the writings of CIS or Numbers to indicate that their motivation is different from that described above.

It is surprising is that neither NCLR nor SPLC have evidenced any concern about over- population, declining natural resources, or any of the other considerations that would suggest that a restrictionist approach is exactly what is needed. Perhaps NCLR and SPLC think that the U.S. can take all of the impoverished masses of the world without any effect on our standard of living or quality of life. One can understand humanitarian considerations but we do no one any good if we have policies which essentially lead to a re-creation of the very conditions immigrants leave their homelands to escape. That is where the NCLR's and SPLC's shortsighted politics and policies will lead.

So much is made of our immigrant past. But the operative word is "past"; there is no current need for or obligation to accept millions of new immigrants. Why is that so difficult ot understand? It is not a question of hate; not even close.

They are the wolves in sheep's clothing on the extreme left. They are in a position to do a lot of good in promoting enlightened tax and immigration policies that will enable us to achieve a stable population and preserve the way of life we have come to expect or aspire to in America. Instead they focus on narrow, ethnocentric ideas that are inimical to the national interest.

In the early days of our country, a vast and largely unsettled continent lay before the Founding Fathers and their successors. Immigration was largely uncontrolled or actively promoted. Natural resources appeared to be unlimited. Now we know better. Domestic oil production peaked in the 1970s. Since then we have been sending our treasure to the OPEC countries plunging our country deeper and deeper into debt. Closer to home is the continuing plunder of the Great Plains’ Ogallala Aquifer, the largest underground reservoir in the United States and one of the largest on the planet which once held as much water as Lake Huron, is ample evidence of the shortsightedness of those who want more instead of less immigration. That aquifer is and example of a finite resource and a treasure that took millenia to accumulate. Remarkably, it could cease to be a water resource within another generation. We are left with yet another illustration of an all too common pro-immigration mindset: short on vision, mired in denial and unable to comprehend nature’s limits.

The NCLR and SPLC should add the above to the criteria they use in judging whether or not a position taken by other organizations constitutes "hate" or whether it is merely a different and perhaps more informed point of view than theirs.

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